An 18-year old Change Maker Sai Vignesh has saved the lives of 300 animals! With no support from relatives but a burning desire to rescue animals, he is simply unstoppable! Read more to know about a day in the life of a Chennai-based teen who rescues animals.
“Animals do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”
Animal abuse, rape and cruelty is rapidly increasing every day and only a kind people go the extra mile. One among those is Sai Vignesh, an eighteen–year–old teen who has dedicated his life to animal welfare.
Having been brought up in a joint family, Vignesh always had the leisure of having a pet as his companion. The tragic death of Bhairava, his pet dog, completely devastated him at a tender age of five. This incident served as a turning point in his life. “I see the reflection of Bhairava in other animals.”
The loss of his pet made Vignesh even more sensitive towards other animals. “All animals need to be treated equally.” For the same reason, Vignesh has rescued all kinds of animals, not just cats and dogs. He has also saved the lives of goats, cows, calves, hens and crows.
This Change Maker has rescued more than 300 animals! Fifteen dogs stay with him at his residence and more than twenty animals have been accommodated by him in a paid boarding centre in Velachery. “It is not an easy task to handle fifteen dogs at a time. Our neighbours and house owners have even tried poisoning them which is the main reason why we have shifted more than five houses over the past two years.”
Vignesh is extremely passionate about animals and he wants to pursue law for the sole purpose of being able to fight for animal rights. He said, “We are all born in this world with some purpose.” Vignesh rescued two drowning puppies in the midnight for the very first time during the floods in 2015. This is when he decided to continue rescuing animals-
“Once I rescued those two puppies, I felt a sense of accomplishment. That is when I firmly resolved to continue rescuing animals,”
It’s not rosy. Far from a normal teenager’s life. Unlike most children who went to school in the morning and came back home in the evening, Vignesh couldn’t continue regular schooling due to severe health issues. He underwent private school tutoring without any choice. Till date, he receives a fair share of criticism from his relatives. In spite of that, he stands firm and continues to preach what he believes in!
Looking at the brighter side, he said-
“If I had attended regular school then I wouldn’t have been able to get myself involved with animals to such a great extent. Not attending a regular school was a blessing in disguise for me!”
Vignesh is following the footsteps of his late grandfather. His tatha, as Vignesh fondly addresses him, used to donate a part of his pension for the welfare of these animals every month. He is trying his best to uphold the legacy of his grandfather.
A DAY HIS LIFE
A typical day for Vignesh starts at six in the morning and gets over by two in the night.He starts his day by feeding the pets, cleaning them and taking them to the vet. He then gets occupied with the rescue operation. He gets around ten rescue operation calls per day which gives him time to study only after 10 p.m.
“It is strenuous at times with only 4 hours of sleep! But such things do not really matter when you do what you love.”
Vignesh started a not-for-profit organisation named Almighty Animal Care Trust in 2017 to help animals in an organised and better manner. A few volunteers chip in at times to help him, but usually it’s only him. Vignesh strongly believes that small things can make a huge difference. “Whenever animals are being mistreated, the youth shouldn’t be ignorant,” he said.
ADOPT A PET
Vignesh has given more than 200 animals for adoption! His adoption policies are very strict. “I am very particular to whom I hand over the rescued animals. I initially talk to them personally and make sure if they are genuinely interested in adopting the animal as their pet. I then identify and verify their house. If everything goes on all well, the adoption papers are signed which include various clauses to ensure the safety of the animals.” Even if one of the clause is violated, the animal is taken back by him. Around ten animals have been taken back by him from the adopters to ensure their safety and protection.
FUTURE PLANS AND VISION
A Samaritan donated 8.4 acres of land to Vignesh which is now being used to construct a sanctuary. “Only disabled, old, physically challenged and ill animals will be residing in the sanctuary. Once the animals are treated and become healthy, they will be relocated to their natural habitat.”
– Student Reporter Lavina Daryanani
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